God stretches our faith . . .

God stretches our faith, pulling us to follow Him through what seems to be desert wildernesses. His fulfilled plan is on the other side, yet to get there we have to venture out into the unknown territories where He calls us, step by step in our own walk of faith.
May we, through this day, venture forth where God is leading with a heart of faith that refuses to turn back.

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“Walk In Peace!”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee,” Isaiah 26:3

Peace is something that may seem far out of reach for most.  It is greatly desired and sought after; yet, many will never lay hold of it.  Why is that?  The answer is because of where it is found.  It is found in a made-up mind centered on who He is and a devoted heart that believes in the promises He has made.  “Perfect peace” speaks of the character of God at work.  Wherever He operates and whatever He delves into is marked by perfection.  That means when He established something that He wants to offer to all mankind He does so without there being anything wrong with it.  No fault in it whatsoever.  And He does here also.  As a matter of fact, the only thing that can mar this “perfect peace” that He is so willing to give is how man (the human race) accepts it.

When one’s mind is focused wholeheartedly on an idea, then that becomes the single vision of that person.  Once the picture of the mind’s eye is narrowed in one direction, that’s where one will be led to follow.  Now imagine a time of being in the midst of arduous and severe trials and tribulations.  Where there are sorrows and disappointments that seem to do nothing to encourage one’s focus on God, only working to tear away at one’s faith.  Yet, through it all, that person takes a stand within them and says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

The person who is able to stir up his faith in this manner as a defense and a shield to his mind, using the focus of God at work in his life and verifying it through His Word, will be kept in “perfect peace.”  He has made an on-purpose decision that no matter how bleak and dismal it may seem right now, God is greater than all, and “His tender mercies are over all His works,” (Ps. 145:9).  “How is one able to do that?” you may be crying out in frustration.  I answer you with Abraham’s example as referred to by Paul in Romans 4:20-21, where it says, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”  Simply put, as our verse in Isaiah 26:3 says, “Because he trusteth thee.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” That is including, “perfect peace.”  All His promises are in His Word and the one who bases the foundation of all that he believes on that one rock-solid truth will be upheld and kept through the worst of storms.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

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A Truth You Must Know

Perfection.  Innocent.  Pure and undefiled is how the world stood.  It was beautifully unmarked and untainted from heaven’s sky to the dirt on the ground.

Then came sin with all the diseases that follow its wrong course.  There was now pain and sorrow, hurtfulness and despair.  Perfection has been injured.  What was beautiful has received a scar.  The world was fallen – utterly torn apart (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12).

Torn apart from its innocence.  Pure no more. 

Torn apart from its Maker.  What would happen now?

Would He turn away and erase it all?  Could the shattered love that spoke of its good still see hope in the end?

He did. 

God didn’t leave the fallen world without an answer to its depravity.  He refused to forget His love for the ones He made.  He made a choice and had a plan to redeem what was broken.  In Jesus Christ, He had the cure: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal. 1:4).

We can look around and measure the world by the wickedness we see.  Or we can look at how much grace was bestowed on you and me. 

In the world, we were far from perfect or right.  In the world, we too groped like people in the night.  But His plan shone a light to help us see that this is not the end of the story for us or humanity (Jn. 3:16).

Friend, if you have fallen, may your eyes upon Him turn.  He has not forgotten you.  God is waiting for your return.  There is salvation ready in His redemptive plan.  Something that could never be earned by any woman or man.  But because His love for us is so real, His only begotten Son became our everlasting seal:

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel . . .” (Col. 1:19-23)

When we believe, we are redeemed, covered by the ransom’s cost which His holy and undefiled blood has bought (1 Pet. 1:18-19).  That is the truth you must grasp today.  The question is, will you accept the Gift that saves (2 Cor. 9:15; Jn. 3:16)?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

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Here’s a quick reminder . . .

Here’s a quick reminder. This life can make you feel some type of way sometimes. It can make you feel isolated like you’re all alone in dealing with this stuff. But I’m here to remind you that you are NOT. God’s unfailing hand of love is holding you through every trying circumstance. Don’t let the enemy convince you otherwise. All he wants to do is steal, kill and destroy the plans God has for you. God has greater than THIS in store for you and YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS! He’s holding on to you. Keep holding on to Him! Blessings~
Word For Life Says

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” – Isaiah 41:10

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – Hebrews 13:5

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Before the day was, I am He!

“Yea, before the day was I am he . . .” Isaiah 43:13

There is a time and a place for all things, that is what they say.  Some will argue their disbelief in God because they have trouble with not being able to pinpoint His beginning.  This life, this walk of faith demands that we believe God for who He says He is: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8), meaning there was never a time God was not.  He was before all and will continue to be, forever and ever.  The psalmist celebrated this by saying, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2), a truth repeatedly recognized throughout Scripture (Job 36:23; Psalm 93:2; Isaiah 41:4).  

The Bible begins with the very words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).  God is responsible for all of the Creation events.  He “laid the foundations of the earth” (Psalm 104:5).  When “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2a), God was already there moving: “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2b).  Before light (Genesis 1:3-4), and even before there was a day or a night (Genesis 1:5), there was God.  He has always been and will always be.

“To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things” (Isaiah 40:25-26a).  God is the Creator of all things.  Knowing who laid the foundations.  Knowing He who was before all things, solidifies our faith in the one and only true living God.

There is no one like our God.  He testified of Himself before Moses and said, ““I AM THAT I AM,” (Exodus 3:14), meaning just that.  He has always existed before anything else, and He has always been before even one day was ever noted in history.  He is God all by Himself: “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

God has no equal!  There is nobody that can be measured up to Him!  There is no comparison, no rival, no match, and no substitutes – none that can be even remotely like God!  There is only one God, and from before the foundations of the earth, God has been, and He has been in control.  All we need to do is simply put our trust in Him, believe in Him, wait on Him, and watch Him work: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

The eternal nature of God cannot be understood by pinpointing days, only by believing in faith: “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:25-27).

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Walk in the person God designed you to be!

You are special. What God has placed in you is special. You are an original creation anointed for such a time as this. What God has in you is for you. Enjoy the masterpiece that is you, for that is how He created you.

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While We Were Yet Sinners . . .

Forgiveness is something none will make it to heaven without.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what one has done in life, from the highest to the lowest, without accepting the life Christ offers through His salvation and forgiveness, we will not make it in.  The Bible records, “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

Who could stand?  Absolutely no one! (See Romans 3:10). Without His covering and remission of sins, the pathway to heaven will be blocked; access denied!  It doesn’t matter if one’s walk of life is a Pharisee or a prostitute, there is no an individual who is worthy enough to enter the gates of glory without Jesus’ forgiveness.

Question: What would happen if today God sat down and took account of all the wrongs we have done?  What would it be like if we stood before Him unable to pay what we owe?  We were there!  Jesus knew the predicament that humanity was in.  He knew that mankind could never get himself out of the debt of sin, so through Him, we obtain that freedom along with grace, mercy, and compassion as people who don’t deserve it.

The Bible reminds us, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).  I guarantee if we were to look at ourselves, we could not fathom how many times our accounts would have gone unpaid had it not been for the blood of Christ. But thank God, He acted in love to save us!  Not just us – but everyone who comes to Him in faith regardless of the background of sin.

The price has already been paid.  You are free to turn to Jesus today and accept Him for yourself:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” Ephesians 1:7.

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” Colossians 1:14.

“While we were yet sinners,” Jesus fulfilled the requirements the cross demanded on our behalf.  He paid the price we could never pay.  He didn’t wait for us to “get our act together,” for without Him, without the power of His Holy Spirit, we were never able to do this on our own.

So, with the preciousness of His life, He laid it down, so that we can experience what it is like to unload the heavy burden of sin from us and live joyfully in grace knowing how much we are loved by Him.

Adapted from the previous article: Sunday School Lesson – “Saved by Faith” Luke 7:36-50 

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I will remember . . .

Taking time to remember all God has done for you, where God has brought you from, and all that God has delivered you through is always a good idea. “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11

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Standing on the Edge

Sometimes you may come to a place that seems impossible to pass.  This is a place that edges the border of what we have been delivered from to where we are being brought to.  It is in situations like these, when God shows up, there is no doubt that His hands have been working something extraordinary through it all.  The waters may crash on the shores before and the enemy’s army may be rolling behind, but God sees you, standing there on the fringe, in a world where these two impossibilities meet, yet in Him, there is nothing impossible.  In Him, there is always a way.  In Him, you are not in a helpless position.  In Him, the victory is already won.  Before you ever came to this place, He already knew what He would do.  So rest, weary one, in His sovereignty.  Rest in His plan.  You may not understand it, but He does.  You may not know how it will work out, but He does.  This will be performed by His strength, His wisdom, and His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6), not by anything we say or do.  In getting past this place, all glory, honor, praise, and credit go to God.  He is the one who will get you to the other side in peace and wholeness, with singing and rejoicing (Exodus 15:1-21).  To you who are standing on the edge, in Him, you are not standing alone.

 “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.” Exodus 14:13-18

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“We Cannot Bless Your Name Enough!”

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“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, for He has done this for you.  O soul, you that find mercy in His saving grace, in Him you are benefited.  In Him, is found love and renewal.  In Him, forgiveness resides and lives are made whole.  In Him, there is healing for mind, body, and soul.  In Him, your life is redeemed from the destruction it would have known without Him.

It is God, our heavenly Father, who has crowned your life so beautifully with these undeserving gifts.  It was His faithfulness toward you that bestowed such lovingkindness in your life.

Tender are His mercies toward you.  Let us never forget where our help comes from (Psalm 121:1-2).  Let us always be reminded where our hope is found (Psalm 147:11), and that it is God alone who can be attributed to pouring “good things” into our lives (Psalm 103:5).

In Him, we are renewed, as with the strength of an eagle with our wings spread, gliding upon the winds of His Spirit, soaring high in this day, and in the days to come.  You, O God, are our constant help through anything we face (Psalm 46:1), and we cannot bless Your name enough.

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